May 25, 2018 by Katie Fielmann
It is not uncommon for seniors to experience skin problems such as dry skin and bruising. These conditions are frustrating but not usually serious. Other conditions, like shingles, can be painful and even debilitating, and skin cancer can even be fatal.
The good news is that most senior skin conditions are treatable and even preventable. Comfort Keepers elderly care services suggest these 5 ideas to protect the skin:
1. Stay hydrated. Many skin conditions are related to the skin's dryness and lack of suppleness. This is not surprising since half of the seniors over the age of 65 are chronically dehydrated. A senior's body does not use water as efficiently as it did in younger years and seniors tend to be less thirsty, so they are not driven to consume water. Further complicating matters, many medications have dehydration as a side effect. When the body lacks proper hydration, the skin does as well. Seniors should strive to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day.
2. Use sunscreen. The sun's UV rays dry out the skin, lead to wrinkles and spots, and are a leading cause of cancer. By using a UVA and UVB blocking sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, seniors can avoid many of the negative effects of the sun.
3. Clean properly. A senior's skin is not as thick as it once was, and it dries out more easily since it produces fewer oils. Seniors should avoid harsh cleansers that are abrasive or dry out the skin. Once washed, the skin should be patted dry and not scrubbed. Caregivers can help seniors find soaps and cleaners that are specifically designed for seniors or recommend products that they know are good for the skin.
4. Stop smoking. Smoking is bad for your lungs and greatly increases the risk of cancer, but it is also very bad for the skin. Smoking increases the risk of psoriasis by 60 percent, accelerates wrinkles by cutting off the blood supply to the skin, increases the risk of brown spots, and discolors skin. If that is not enough, smokers are three times as likely to get skin cancer.
5. Moisturize. Keeping the skin moist can help with dry, flaky skin and help prevent other skin conditions. An elderly care services provider can help your senior loved one choose a moisturizer that works for their skin type while avoiding greasy or oily residue. To be most effective, moisturizers should be applied while the skin is slightly damp.
For more information on senior skin protection or to learn more about the many benefits of Comfort Keepers elderly care services, contact a senior home care coordinator today.
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